TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL: Mackay North State High School Year 12 students (from left) Brandon Watts, Charlotte Lambert, Cleo Falzon, Aisa Rodgers, Katelyn Sartor, Gabby Bristow, Steph McPhee, Majella Gibbs,Taylor Collett, Dallas Chyba and Zoe Eisenmenger celebrate at Harbour Beach
TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL: Mackay North State High School Year 12 students (from left) Brandon Watts, Charlotte Lambert, Cleo Falzon, Aisa Rodgers, Katelyn Sartor, Gabby Bristow, Steph McPhee, Majella Gibbs,Taylor Collett, Dallas Chyba and Zoe Eisenmenger celebrate at Harbour Beach Tony Martin

Cashed up Schoolies’ big splurge boosts economy

SCHOOLIES organisers are preparing for an influx of more than 2000 school leavers at Airlie Beach, which is expected to inject at least $3 million into the economy.

The Whitsundays is the most popular location for Mackay school leavers.

Organisers say the majority of the Schoolies at Airlie Beach will come from the Mackay, Townsville, Moranbah and Whitsunday areas.

While organisers were unable to

provide a complete breakdown on how many registrations they had received from Mackay school leavers this year, Queensland Government figures from last year show a total 2180 wristbands were handed out at Airlie Beach.

But there may be more this year. Schoolies.com chief Matt Lloyd said their bookings showed about 3000 schoolies were expected to swamp Airlie Beach this year.

He said Schoolies usually spent about $1500 on everything including accommodation, food and alcohol.

With 2000-3000 schoolies expected at Airlie Beach, this will generate $3-$4.5 million.

Whitsunday Mayor Jenny Whitney said most tourist operators had reported being sold out.

Every year school leavers are swamped with safety messages including "be safe" and "don't drink too much" but this year another campaign is being pushed at them: Do not let a drunken photo on social media ruin your future.

"You can't control where your images may end up," a Gold Coast Schoolies Community Safety Response spokesman said. Other messages included "respect the community" and "It's okay to walk away from a confrontation".

It is expected about 30,000 schoolies will party on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and at Airlie Beach this week. The State Government expects most will be under 18 years old.

The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation will watch for underage drinkers in Airlie Beach and those trying to buy alcohol for them.

SCHOOLIES

  • About 30 Mackay students heading to the Gold Coast
  • 2000-3000 schoolies expected in Airlie Beach
  • Each schoolie spends $1500 on average for the week
  • Those who supply alcohol to underage drinkers could face $9108 fine

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